Roofing contractors throughout the U.S. have faced difficult
economic times during the past few years and eagerly are
anticipating a boost in job activity that comes with the summer
months. Unfortunately, the lethargic economy has not tempered
federal agencies' efforts to advance new regulations, policies and
procedures that may significantly affect roofing contractors.
During the past few months alone, the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA) has finalized and published new rules
related to crane and derrick operations and crane operator
certification; rescinded a 15-year-old directive to effectively
prohibit a fall-protection option (slide guards) for residential
roofing work; withdrawn a proposed interpretation of the general
and construction industry noise standards; and withdrawn a proposal
to include a check box for reporting musculoskeletal disorders on
employer injury and illness logs (OSHA Form 300).
Although a few agency actions may benefit roofing contractors,
the challenges presented by the new crane standard, residential
fall-protection directive and other future government agency
initiatives likely will dampen any thoughts of celebration.
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